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On a Terraria dedicated server, does time pass if no one is playing?

I ask because I've started farming, and it would mean I can simply leave a dedicated server running without being connected, and still have grass spread.

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No, time does not pass and world updates do not occur when no players are connected. You can easily verify that by issuing the time command a couple times with no players present — you'll see that the in-game time doesn't change.

You used to be able to keep a world going by just loading it with the server software, but this was changed in patch 1.0.5:

Server

  • Servers now hibernate when no players are connected.
1
  • Guess I could just leave a disposable character in there instead. Thank you.
    – oKtosiTe
    Oct 7 '11 at 22:30

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